As previously reported by Playbill.com, Watkins and Ragusa star as Lois Lane/Bianca and Lilli Vanessi/Kate, respectively. Joining the leading ladies will be Timothy J. Alex (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Never Gonna Dance) as Bill/Lucentio and Mike McGowan (The Apple Tree, The Producers) as Fred/Petruchio.
Confirmed for the remainder of the Kiss Me, Kate cast are Megan Adams, Elliott Bradley, Stephen Carrasco (Hortensio), Desiree Davar, Eugene Fleming (Paul), Herb Foster (Harry/Trevor), Katie Hagen, Wes Hart (Gremio), Cameron Henderson, Todd Horman, Tiffany Howard, Danielle Jordan, Kate Marilley, Rod Roberts, William Ryall (Second Man), Stacey Sargeant (Hattie), Eric Shorey, Bob Stoeckle (General Harrison Howell), Elisa Van Duyne, Kyle Vaughn, Gordon Joesph Weiss (First Man) and Ryan Worsing.
Kiss Me, Kate will play the Paper Mill April 16-May 18, with an official opening set for April 20. James Brennan will direct the classic musical with choreography by Patti Colombo. Tom Helm serves as musical director for the Paper Mill production.
The creative team for Kiss Me, Kate comprises James Fouchard (scenic design), Gail Baldoni (costume design), F. Mitchell Dana (lighting design), Randy Hansen (sound design), and Mark Adam Rampmeyer (hair and make-up design). Richard Rauscher is the production stage manager.
Loosely based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, Kiss Me, Kate originally opened at Broadway's New Century Theatre on Dec. 30, 1948. Featuring a score by Cole Porter and a book by Samuel and Bella Spewack, Kate ran 1,077 performances. The original cast included Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk and Harold Lang. The classic Porter score includes such tunes as "Another Op'nin', Another Show," "Too Darn Hot," "Wunderbar," "So in Love," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," "Why Can't You Behave?," "We Open in Venice," "Tom, Dick or Harry," "I Hate Men" and "Where Is the Life that Late I Led?" Kiss Me, Kate, according to the Paper Mill, is described as such: "This charming story follows two musical theatre actors — once married, now divorced — as they star together in a Broadway-bound musical version of Shakespeare's play. Soon, tensions mount and tempers flare, until it seems no amount of acting can save this show. But when two gangsters arrive to settle an old score, success becomes a matter of survival!"
The Paper Mill Playhouse is located on Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. For more information or to purchase tickets call (973) 376-4343 or visit www.papermill.org.